Breeding Your Scottish Fold and Handling A Pregnancy
Thinking about breeding your favourite cat? Great! Get ready for an amazing experience, we have a mini HowTo guide to help you breed your fold. Just make sure that the kittens will have a quality life and won’t end up abandoned! Let’s start.
When mating a Scottish fold there are a few things you have to do before you mate the Tom with the Queen.
Age Of The Parents
First you’ll have to make sure both Tom and Queen are of proper age. Female cats are ready for pregnancy around the second year of life, somewhere between 18~24 months. Technically they can mate from a much younger age. But as with humans it is better to wait for the cat to mature fully.
Male cats too shouldn’t be younger than 18 months. Male cats don’t carry the weight of pregnancy and therefore have no problem health-wise if they mate early in life. But you want to filter out really problematic and unhealthy males. By the end of the second year any bad genes may show up, so you can avoid mating with this male. Older males are health-proof lets say.
Breed Of The Parents
Now this is difficult. Scottish folds can’t be mated with other Scottish folds. You should only mate them with other breeds or “Straights”. In the case of straights you’ll have to do a test to make sure they don’t carry the folded gene.
The experienced breeder can experiment when picking a partner for his/her Scottish fold. For the rest of us let’s see the most classic examples.
British shorthair is the best option in terms of both health and looks. With its blue (grey) colour and robust structure, it gives a very distinct look to Scottish folds without sacrificing health. If you want a sure, tested choice that will most likely produce healthy and strong kittens, you should aim for a British Shorthair.
American Shorthairs are also a very good choice. American shorthair is a very strong breed that lives for many years. It is also a bit lighter than British shorthair which might make it more suitable for mating with your fold. Less weight means smaller chances of OCD usually.
Munchkins is another breed with a genetic mutation that produces short legs. The combo of a short legged munchkin with a scottish fold produces extremely cute and sweet kittens. In terms of health munchkins are not considered to be unhealthy despite their mutation.
Another, less common mix, the Siamese-Scottish fold cats have an oriental look, having the characteristic point coloration with the endearing folded ears.
Mating a Scottish fold with a straight-eared tabby produces kittens with the distinctive striped, or dotted coat, along with folded ears.
Last but not least before you rush into the mating procedure you have to make sure both of your cats are healthy, especially the female. A vet visit for both the Tom and the Queen wouldn’t hurt anyone. The veterinarian can also give you advice on the whole breeding and gestation process.
General Breeding Guidelines for Cats
After you have made sure your cats are healthy and you have picked the parents it is time to breed them. First you should know that cats are seasonal animals, meaning they only breed some months of the year.
Outdoor cats mate in the spring and summer times. Indoor ones can get confused by the artificial environment and can cycle all year round.
When the female comes into heat, it cycles multiple times in a month, so don’t worry if you miss an estrus. The estrus can last up to a week and if lost (and she doesn’t ovulate) then you’ll have to wait one week for estrus to return.
When the female has estrus it is time to bring the tom. She will let the tom touch her and mate during this time. Have in mind that mating can become a little violent so leave escape routes. Immediately after mating and for about an hour she won’t like to be touched.
It is advised that you keep the Tom and Queen together for a day or two and make sure the they come into contact at least 3 times. In this way you maximise the chances of conception.
Pregnancy and Gestation, An Overview
After your cat has contact with a Tom it is very likely that your cat will become pregnant soon. Note here that ovulation in cats happens after sex as a reflux. It is also possible that a female cat can be pregnant to two different males.
If you want to avoid a litter from multiple fathers, make sure your female has no contact with other males. After a week the female fertilisation should have occurred. If not, then you will have to wait 1 month or more after ovulation for the female to come to heat again. Otherwise your Queen is Officially Pregnant.
For the first weeks you won’t be able to tell if she is pregnant or not even though you might notice a change in the nipples around the third and fourth week.
In the Third week you will visit your vet for an overall health check and verification. At this stage he will be able to recognise the pregnancy with ultrasound. Also any further tests or visits will be scheduled on this meeting probably.
In week three and four expect some morning sickness and even vomiting. In case of prolonged or sever vomiting you should consult your vet. Sickness usually appears in the morning, hence the name but it can show up any time of the day.
Somewhere around week six, the appetite of the Queen will rise. It is wise that you provide as much food as she needs. Also put the bowls in easily accessible places that do not include jumping.
In general during pregnancy try to not to harm the kittens by picking your cat up, or forcing your cat to any sort of heavy activity.
If all work out well you will arrive at the Hot Week. During this week you’ll notice that your Queen regularly grooms her fur and maybe even sheds in the front at her belly. That’s normal and don’t worry the fur will grow again after she gives birth.
The nipples will also be very large and obvious and by the end of week 8 will become milk ready. If you see milk on the tips of the nipples that’s normal. Also a small appetite drop might occur.
The most important thing though is the nesting. During week 8 your cat will probably start nesting. Which means she will start searching for the best place to give birth. Cats have a tendency towards closets because they feel safer.
Their drive is to find a place that will be safe and isolated enough. Usually they prefer dim, quite, isolated places. If you have made a box specifically for the occasion make sure you put it at the right place and help her find it. Leave her alone with it and let her sleep in it.
Finally you’ve arrived at week 9. Most cats will give birth in this week so be ready. If you see your cat taking place in her bed or nest, that’s maybe a sign that they are coming. She will also feel anxious, so try make her feel secure and loved.
In some cases the pregnancy might last a bit longer and you might find yourself still waiting at week 10. That’s ok but if by the end of week 10 you have no kittens it is a good idea to consult your veterinarian.
For a week by week outline of the pregnancy period of cats you can read this.
For general breeding information about cats you can read this.
Happy Kittens and don’t forget to share the love! 🙂
Enjoyed this? Join our Newsletter